'Buy these or I take your car': Philly officer pressures driver to support police fundraiser
REPORT - One police officer was caught on camera trying to pressure a driver into supporting a police fundraiser by threatening the driver with impounding his vehicle.
One police officer was caught on camera trying to pressure a driver into supporting a police fundraiser by threatening the driver with impounding his vehicle.
Officer Matthew Zagursky can be seen stopping a driver and asking him to buy tickets to the police fundraiser, “Hero Thrill Show,” which raises money for the children of deceased police officers and firefighters to go to college.
“You and your friend got any money to buy these thrill show tickets? Support your police department? Ten bucks each, man,” Zagursky tells the driver in footage of the incident. “Either you buy these, or I take your car. ‘Cause it’s unregistered. Ten bucks each, man.”
When the driver appears to be getting money together to buy only two tickets, Zagursky seems to get agitated and attempts to cajole him into buying more.
“You got any kids? You got any sweetheart?” he asks.
“Yeah. I’d rather take my girl than this guy,” the driver responds, indicating his passenger.
“You don’t want to look like two fruitcakes, you know,” Zagursky replies before making several homophobic comments, especially directed at the driver’s windshield wipers, which were so decorated to support breast cancer.
“Breast cancer I can understand, but can’t you support breast cancer another way?” Zagursky asks. “You look like you’re a fruitcake, you know, what the hell?”
Later on, Zagursky asks the driver for $30, and the driver seems surprised, saying, “I don’t wanna take this guy,” about his passenger.
“Let him buy it, too,” the officer replies. “Or else I’ll take his sh*t.”
Since the video surfaced, Zagursky has been placed on desk duty while the incident is being looked into.
“It’s just stupid,” Chief Charles Ramsey told WCAU-TV. “It’s just not good at all. There’s nothing about the stop that’s good. Period. And I’m not going to even remotely try to justify any of it.”